Por que a democracia se tornou dominante e consolidada apenas no século XX?

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Versão em português disponível neste website.

Democracy became the preferred form of government only in the twentieth century. In order to understand why, the search for rational motives is not enough. The author looks for the new historical fact that led to this change of preference, and grounds it, successively, in the capitalist revolution and the gradual loss of fear of expropriation by the bourgeoisie. The capitalist revolution, which changed the manner of appropriating the surplus appropriation from violence to the market, is the first necessary condition. It also marks the transition from the absolute to the liberal state. The disappearance of the fear of expropriation is the second condition, allowing for the transition from the liberal to the liberal-democratic regime. After the establishment of these two conditions, or these two new historical facts, the democratic regime became the rational choice for all classes. For the capitalists, democracy is now the form of government that best assures property rights and contracts. For the workers, it is the form of government that best assures that wages increase with profits. (Versão de 2008)

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